Coming in from the Cold

Coming in from the Cold explores forgotten—or never-remembered—national security policy initiatives, incidents and events during the Cold War. In each episode Cold War Historian Bill Rosenau, will sit down with experts on a wide range of topics to discuss these events and how they are relevant to today’s challenges.

The views expressed here are those of the commentators and do not necessarily reflect the views of CNA or any of its sponsors.

Episode 1

for Episode overview, biographies and related materials.


In 1983, The Patriot, an Indian newspaper with longstanding Soviet connections, printed an anonymous letter from New York, claiming that AIDS had actually been developed by the U.S. government as a bioweapon.  At the time, the story had little impact, but by late 1985 the story took off. As AIDS spread around the world, people were desperate for an explanation of the terrifying new disease. By the end of the year the story had run in 12 other countries. And where did this pack of lies originate? It was a prime example of Soviet disinformation.

Guests Michael Kofman and Kasey Stricklin join our host, Bill Rosenau, to discuss Soviet disinformation tactics and how they compare to methods used by the Russian Federation today.

Guest Bios

Michael Kofman is the director of CNA’s Russia Program. His research focuses on security issues in Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in defense and military analysis. Michael has advised senior military and government officials on Russia, Eurasia and Pakistan and represented the Department of Defense on numerous occasions before foreign officials and dignitaries.

Kasey Stricklin is a research analyst with CNA’s Russia program. Her current research focuses on Russian naval leadership, personnel and demographics. She has also conducted research at CNA on Russian nuclear strategy and thinking. She currently writes on women in the Russian economy for BMB Russia.


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